Friday, July 15, 2011

"Ireland Confronts the Vatican" New York Times

..."A principal factor in the cover-up, the government study found, was a Vatican letter in 1997 warning Irish church leaders against full cooperation with law enforcement authorities. The papal representative wrote that the anti-abuse policies conflicted with church law and should be considered “merely a study document.”

"This turned criminal law on its head and, as the study noted, gave bishops “freedom to ignore” the tougher rules and protect abusers in the church. ...With the pedophilia scandal under investigation worldwide, Vatican officials point to new, tougher rules. But the rules, which do not require dioceses to report allegations of crimes to the police, are considered only advisory guidelines to bishops. The Dublin government has enacted a new law making it a crime for anyone, church officials included, to fail to report child abuse to civil authorities. The Vatican has a valuable lesson to learn in Ireland."

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
I am proud of Ireland, the land of my birth, as civil leaders confront the Vatican for their central role in the cover-up of sexual abuse that has damaged thousands of innocent lives. The Vatican has acted like a crime family in this global cover-up. The Irish have put their "foot down" and reminded the hierarchy that they are subject to civil law like everyone else. Obviously, the Irish leaders do not fear the crack of a crozier anymore!

Here we are now a year after the Vatican put women priests in the same category as pedophiles! One wonders if church officials were trying to distract world attention from the reforms necessary to deal with the pedophile crisis such as mandatory reporting of sexual abuse to civil authorities.

The take home lesson is that, we in the international Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement, are flourishing as more faith-filled women seek ordination to serve the people of God and renew our church. In this sense, you could say that the Vatican is the gift that keeps on giving!

Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Women

Cincinnati Community and Bridget Mary Dialogue About ARCWP at Luncheon and Liturgy

Cincinnati Community shared lunch and conversed
about Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
at Ruth Steinert Foote's home.

Ruth Steinert Foote (left)
Bridget Mary (right) Ruth hosted gathering and
prepared a delicious luncheon for over 30 people.

Diane Dougherty, Bridget Mary Meehan
Janice Sevre-Duszynska, (left to right),
from Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
participated in conversation, luncheon and liturgy.
Janice is the presider at monthly inclusive
liturgies in Cincinnati where all are welcome.

Joyous liturgy with community gathered around altar
where we prayed Eucharistic Prayer.

Bridget Mary's Reflection:

What a joy to meet this dynamic inclusive community of kindred spirits who meet monthly in Cincinnati to worship together. The Holy Spirit is indeed a'moving here in this empowered gathering!

We shared a delicious meal provided by Ruth Steinert-Foote and members of this wonderful community. There was time for conversation about the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. In the evening, we gathered again to celebrate a joyous liturgy with a dialogue homily and once again converse about our movement for justice and equality in our church and world. I was deeply moved by the energy and enthusiasm of the group for a renewed priestly ministry in a community of equals as part of the justice mission of the church! No wonder Janice Sevre-Duszynska, ARCWP, delights in presiding at montly liturgies here!

For more information, contact Janice at

Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Day in the Life of Two Deacons in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, July 10, 2011

JULY 10, 2011,

It is the Sabbath and Miriam and I co-facilitate an adult faith sharing at our church on the Sunday’s readings. Today was extra special because we also had an Agape Gathering for our Theology Club this afternoon. Each week we have been gathering in New Smyrna Beach, about 50 minutes away, to share thoughts on various theological issues. The group has used the “Living the Questions” series and it has been wonderful. It is such a great group of inter-faith folks that we invited them to come to Palm Coast to share an Agape with us and to hear about the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. They have been curious about our venture and very supportive of us. At our third visit with them, they surprised us by taking up a collection so we can get a set of the “Living the Questions” series and start a Theology Club here in Palm Coast! We were amazed at their concern and generosity! We pray extra special for them. May Godde bless them ten-fold

There was a terrible thundering rain storm today and we wondered if anyone would come. It was a blinding rain! It was about 2:00 when we heard from a carload of four of our new found friends. The rain was slowing their arrival, but they were coming. We had a plan, but the Spirit changed it around due to the fact that folks were calling and arriving late. With our first four arrivals an instant decision was made to eat and share their appetizers and desserts first so that others would have time to arrive. Everyone was late, but we had ten women and men come from the Theology Club! As we were about to have our Agape another couple called and said they were coming but would be about 20 minutes later.

Again the Spirit shifted our agenda and we shared about the history of the Roman Catholic Women Priests. We showed the new video sharing the Vision and Mission of ARCWP. Click link to view

Then we showed a video where Bridget Mary Meehan told the story of RCWP from 2002 to 2008. Click link to view.

I brought the history to the current date and shared how Miriam and I became involved and were ordained deacons in April. We had some great questions and discussion. Some were pleased we can Baptize and preside at weddings and funerals. They will keep us in mind as those occasions happen. We gave each of them a copy of the ARCWP brochure. Our last couple arrived on time to share about ARCWP and then we were ready to have our Agape Gathering.

Miriam presided and started the shared homily. I helped with homily and music. One of our members played the violin for our opening song, “All Are Welcome.” He played beautifully!! The song was especially appropriate to me and Miriam because it was the first time we had an Agape in our new home in our prayer room. We truly want all to know they are welcome in our home! While having our Agape the sun came out and it was a beautiful sign to us that Godde was in this place. There were twelve of us gathered around the table. How providential!

The group participated in sponstaneous prayers of petition and thanksgiving and prayed together over our bread and wine which we shared. As one said, it was a very moving and special time. I saw one person tear up as our Godde was ministering love to all of us. The Theology Club facilitator expressed thankfulness that what was happening on this Sabbath is what should happen every Sabbath. He was especially pleased to see that the Theology Club was now becoming a real community of friends. He thanked us for becoming a part of the club and for opening our home for the wonderful sharing of the day. He also felt that God would be growing our ministry. Another said she had friends who would like to meet us and share an Agape in her home in New Smyrna Beach. Everyone thanked us for our hospitality for which we are eager to share with others.

Miriam had us pair off and pray a blessing for each other before we closed with the song, “We Are Called.” Even then folks wanted to share, but it was late and they had another long drive to return home. At least they had a sunny drive: sunny in weather and warm in Spirit. They cannot imagine what a blessing they were to us. We continue to trust that our Godde is in control and is leading people into our lives and us into a special ministry of acceptance and love. Would that the Roman Catholic Church would genuinely accept all of us, worts and all. But we do what we can while waiting for RCC to hear Godde’s voice calling us to true unconditional love and acceptance. If we can do this with this microcosm, it is possible to do it in the universal church. Come Holy Spirit!

Wanda Russell & Miriam Picconi

Deacons: ARCWP, Palm Coast, Florida

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

"Absolute Monarchs" History of the Papacy by John Julius Norwich- A Must Read:/Reviewed by NY Times

"A scholar or devout Roman Catholic would probably not have had so much fun, for example, with the tale of Pope Joan, the mid-ninth-century Englishwoman who, according to lore, disguised herself as a man, became pope and was caught out only when she gave birth. Although Norwich regards this as “one of the hoariest canards in papal history,” he cannot resist giving her a chapter of her own. It is a guilty pleasure, especially his deadpan pursuit of the story that the church, determined not to be fooled again, required subsequent papal candidates to sit on a chaise percée (pierced chair) and be groped from below by a junior cleric, who would shout to the multitude, “He has testicles!” Norwich tracks down just such a piece of furniture in the Vatican Museum, dutifully reports that it may have been an obstetric chair intended to symbolize Mother Church, but adds, “It cannot be gainsaid, on the other hand, that it is admirably designed for a diaconal grope; and it is only with considerable reluctance that one turns the idea aside.”

Bridget Mary's Reflection:

The history of the papacy is full of scandal. If a movie was released today on its sordid past, it would be triple X-rated! No wonder, the growing acceptance of women priests is shaking up the Vatican!

Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

Report from Olga Lucia Alvarez Benjumea- African National Meeting in Medellin, Columbia

Some contributions of the African National Meeting, Medellín 18-24/11

Olga Lucia Alvarez Benjumea

The Gospel of Christ is a policy choice to follow Christ is a political choice. I am not referring to any party, least of Christianity as such. Christianity has nothing of Christ, is a mere ideology, power struggle and lies "messianic" and assembly are continue to take advantage, "powerful" civil and religious of all time.

"The Afro-descendants is not a matter of skin, is a culture of African descent, is an option, a way of living, a way of being.Colombia is a country that indigenous African. "(1)

What it means to be African? Consider for a moment, what is said, what we say, what we believe or would have us believe, about being African?

Contributions of the African National Conference (Medellín June 18-24/11)

"- Afro Being a political choice.
- Implications for People and Community Reading the Bible in African perspective.
- You have to link the action of God in world history.
- Need to restore historical consciousness.
- Make the break maps.
In Gen 10:8, we find the first powerful man on earth.
-In Judah is a colony from the eighth century Ethiopian (African).
-In this colony are some Prophets (Zephaniah 1:1)
- Zephaniah is found by the 640 ac (peasant revolution time of Amun)
- A part of the community is to serve the monarchy and the community who oppose the monarchy in this part belongs Zephaniah-
(Mitochondrial Eve) "

To make a Reading Community People of the Bible is not enough to read and reflect, in a popular sector, believing that was a Reading Community People of the Bible. The LPCB, there are changes that are live and feel. It is opening the doors of Life and the Bible. LPCB changes us, transforms us, liberates us. This tool is not in the academies, or libraries, is the life of yesterday and today made present in our reality.

We can not do without contextualizing LPCB, text, without being involved in the story, as subjects = craftsmen. "The architects are more inclusive with the possibility of recognition and inclusion. It expresses the dynamics, the potential that human beings have for the historical building.

It's not just the one in the text but the text that builds community and read the text because it is the architect hermeneutical suspicion.. "(2) We must find the entries in the text, hold the keys (" We share different keys as people, places, symbols, relationships, values, feelings, dreams, ideas, memories, bodies, language, power, problems, attitudes, etc.. With them we can open to life and the lives of the Bible discover that hidden, lost, denied, etc. ") (3) with keys digging, crawling, wondering, guessing, observing, comparing, questioning, imagining, intuiting. The Word of God speaks and continues to speak to the simple.

This is done in community, group, working together, adults, women, men, youth, children / as the city field, a worker, professional, religious / a, each in his own mind can perceive, the contribution of the word, either from the Hermeneutics of gender or the African perspective, which is what we are all / os involved.

"The Afro has been invisible in the Bible readings own Western world. Many of these readings obscure the African presence because of superficial analysis that does not delve into the biblical texts intentionally. So, before we enter the text important to begin identifying the elements characteristic of the Hebrew canon compared to the canon of the Septuagint. "
Proceedings of the National African Encounter, Medellín June 18-24/11

Any Bible text can work in our case, we have deepened the text of Nehemiah Chapter 5 and the Book of Ruth. Here, some comments and betting:

What led the people of Nehemiah to the economic crisis?
How long will last this situation?
What are the people to react?

Why are women in charge?
Why does the text mention the presence of women in the protest?

What motivates Nehemiah to deceive the people?
What interests defends Nehemiah?

How part of who God is?
What is the God of Nehemiah?
What is the God of the people?
In which religion influences for operators restored land and cancel the debts?
Why are women who can be rescued by others?
Why women enslaved man worth less than the enslaved?

Values ​​of African Communities: Among the highlights:

love of life, solidarity,
Honesty, perseverance,

If there is interest in learning and deepen this methodology for pastoral work in grassroots communities in the parish or House / Church, please contact:
CEDEBI: Carrera 41 Nro.13-41
Phone: 2323901 Teusaquillo Barrio,

1) Contribution of Emigdio P. Cuesta (afro) at the National Afro Medellín June 18-24/11
2) Contributions of Afro-Medellin National Meeting in June 18-24/11
3) Contributions of the Community Method of Reading the Bible People.
Author: Anibal Canaveral, biblical scholar, member of CEDEBI (Collective Ecumenical Bible scholar).

Roman Catholic Women Priest Reports: Meeting of Ecumenical Leaders and Scholars in Medellin

Report from Olga Lucia Alvarez Benjumea, ARCWP:

Convened by the CEDEBI (Collective Ecumenical Biblical scholars) 30 people consisting of leaders of different cities from 18 to 24 Junio/11 met in the city of Medellin, a national ecumenical meeting to study , reflect and pray the Word using the Methodology "Community Reading the Bible People," by African hermeneutic perspective. We reflected on Nehemiah 5 and the book of Ruth.

Every morning before entering the working groups, enjoyed the ecumenical prayer in our different rites and liturgies, drawing the support of the decree Ad Gentes, Vatican II and "The Pastoral Mission to Latin America" ​​Paper Melgar CELAM (1968)

Olga is the President and Legal Representant of CEBEDI.

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests affirm that justice for the poor and oppressed is constitutive to the Gospel and an important part of the social justice teaching of Vatican II.
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Day in the Life of a Woman Priest in Latin America- "Pastoral en Soacha"

"Pastoral en Soacha"
Olga Lucia Alvarez Benjumea, a Roman Catholic Women Priest, shares her story of a "A Day in the Life of a Woman Priest"
David and Alexandra accompanied me to make visits to families who opened their homes and hearts to us. We prayed for healing and blessing on all those we visited. The Moms were delighted that their children particpated. David and Alexandra enjoyed our lunch together, especially the ice cream. I was blessed by the hospitality and warmth of the families we met.

Bridget Mary's Reflection:

Sounds to me like Jesus was truly present in your visits, dear Olga, courageous woman priest, as you serve your beloved community in Latin America. You are an inspiration to us all!

Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Trouble With New Roman Missal/How About Trying New Worship Aides by Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests?

"Beginning in Advent of this year, the language of the Mass will be very different. A new translation of the Roman Missal—the book of prayers used in the Mass—will be put into use in all Catholic churches in the English-speaking world. Some who have read the new prayers are pleased with the changes. Others are gravely concerned.

This is What A Catholic Looks Like by Kate Conmy

"The sisters and daughters of Mary Daly gave me permission to re-claim my Catholicism with all of my questions as an extraordinary action of faith. Ambivalence means courageously engaging the sacred to foster critique, conversation and innovation in the pursuit of knowing God. Just as Carter Heyward writes, “To love God is to un-do evil,” I so strongly believe that God must manifest as an expression of creative justice whereby inclusivity, “right-relation,” and the elimination of discrimination are central on the path toward a higher liberation. I graduated feeling empowered by women, activists, and radicals who claimed their faith and the responsibility to speak a language beyond the binary in order to celebrate the wisdom of all human and divine goodness. "

Bridget Mary's Reflection

Kate is the new Membership Coordinator of Women's Ordination Conference.
Thanks for the insightful article from the perspective of a young woman!

Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests